Recently I came across an article from the Today Show's parenting team.... It was entitled “If you’ve never showed up to school pick up looking like a truck driver, we can’t be friends.” Find it here. And y’all this got me worked up. I’d like to reply to this author, and to others who hold the same beliefs. Allow me to explain why this mom has never shown up looking like as a truck driver and why that’s ok.
First, I don’t, nor have I ever, really understood this mommy judging that is so rampant these days. I often find myself surrounded by women who would sooner judge me based on my appearance than actually judge me based on my character. Yes, I show up to events, to school drop off and pick up fully dressed and ready for my day. How does that make me less of a worthwhile friend? I would simply never look at another woman and say “gee she’s dressed too ho-hum to be MY friend, so bye! Go find other ho-hums to be friends with.” It's silly to me to even entertain this thought. Is this how shallow we have become?
Second, I wasn’t aware that doing something for myself that makes me feel ready for the day, could be a characteristic of an unworthy friend. Look, I get up everyday, I make my bed, I do my hair and makeup, I get dressed...I do this everyday. Not because I am fake or trying to cover up that I’m a struggling mom. I AM A STRUGGLING MOM. Here’s the secret, I do these things BECAUSE I’m struggling. Being dressed and having my hair and makeup done is what helps me start my day, it’s self care that I need to feel my best, period. I do it for me. That does not mean, I don’t struggle just as hard as the moms coming to drop off in PJs. Where is the rule book that states how a woman should handle and manage the stress of parenthood? Where does it say that to be accepted, one must do exactly as I do and present themselves everyday just as I do. Somewhere in that book there must also be a chapter on the acceptable amount of laundry in your pile and whether or not it's ok to make your bed.
Third. What ever happened to simply talking to each other and asking questions...real questions about motherhood. I will say right now, I am not shy about talking about my struggles with motherhood, marriage life, pet owner life... whatever. I’m here for it. I love nothing more than dealing out REAL talk. So then tell me exactly how does the way I fix myself up everyday make that any less honest? Let's grab that coffee, girl, and chat...I will accept you any way you feel comfortable, no strings attached. I might come in heels, you might come in tennis shoes...what I care about is being together, talking, laughing, even crying if need be. I accept you for the person you are, wholly and without reservations or requirements.
“Realness” shouldn’t be judged by how a woman is dressed or how much makeup she wears, period. How much we struggle with motherhood, or life in general, should not be gauged on our level of dressiness. Let’s not make a qualification for the struggle bus based on whether or not we come to drop off or pick up in PJs. It’s simply not that surface level and skin deep. A friendship based on that level of judgment, isn’t a friendship that I would want. I’m ok with you not liking me.
A friendship that starts off with judging how I’m dressed in an effort to further judge my level of struggle...isn’t one that I’m interested in keeping. You might find that it’s far easier to get to know someone, if you speak to them with honest intentions... that’s the friendships that I want. Ask me my worst mom moments...I will happily tell you every gritty detail. Ask me how I’m handling life...marriage... whatever... I will tell you. But don’t stand there and judge me as an unworthy friend or a fake woman because I come to drop off in heels and makeup. That's a problem within you, not a problem with me.